Indians place Fausto Carmona on restricted list

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Fausto Carmona’s legal situation may drag on well into spring training, but in the meantime the Indians have placed the right-hander on the restricted list after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic for falsifying his identity.

Carmona, who was revealed to be Roberto Hernandez Heredia and three years older than his listed age of 28, is under contract for $7 million in 2012. By placing him on the restricted list the Indians open up a 40-man roster spot and put themselves in position to avoid paying him until Carmona/Heredia gets a visa and is cleared to pitch.

Carmona/Heredia was quickly released on a $13,000 bond, but the Indians traded for Kevin Slowey to potentially replace him in the rotation and clearly aren’t counting on him being in camp for the beginning of spring training.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.